Due next week

Homework: Do numbers 2-4 (right side of page) of the handout. Using the information provided, write a one-sentence summary lead/statement for each. Just like we did in class. Some details/specifics you will leave out or delay. Remember we talked about delaying ID on some names, places, and organizations, etc. when not relevant. (Again, this means delaying ID ONLY for the lead. Someone might be identified as a 21-year-old Towson University student in a news lead, but then mentioned by name later on in the story, maybe even the next sentence.) You folks did a great job in class, but reach out if you had any questions about the assignment. When you’re done, pose to Blackboard. Remember to follow the submission guidelines (your name, double-spaced, etc.) and to follow AP Style.




Due Next Week

Reminder that due next week is your analysis of a news story. Choose a news story from a major daily newspaper (city, state or national), or a reputable online news site (CNN, NPR, BBC News).  Tell me what news characteristics the story has. We went over this in class. I also want a detailed observation of the writing style. Pay attention to sentence structure, word choice, story structure, use of details, etc. I’m not really looking for a critique of the writing, although you could tell me how effective the writer was in keeping your attention and summarizing the subject. Upload to Blackboard. I will create an assignment link.


School Shooting Data

I wanted to pass this on, as some conflicting information about the number of school shootings has appeared in the past 24 hours. Some news outlets claim 18 school shootings since Jan. 1, 2018, but some news agencies are clear to point out that while that number is likely accurate, the statistic includes gunfire on school property and suicides. Not all of the 18 events were mass shootings. Below is a very sober, objective look at the No. of shootings since Sandy Hook. By any measure, too many acts of violence involving innocent children. However, I wanted to drive home the point that you have to sift through news carefully, and take in the nuance. Headlines can be misleading, and the truth is in the details. We also have to consider the source. Not just the publication, but the source of the data.



Due next week is a 3rd person staff bio of yourself. These will be short, one or two paragraphs. Some details you should and could include are your full name, year (freshman, etc.), major (minor), work experience, writing experience (like any editorial position or if you’ve written for publications), extracurricular activities (maybe you’re a member of the Dance team, or vice president of the Art History Club, etc.), hobbies (maybe you’re an artist or a photographer), hometown and what high school you graduated from, awards (or anything unique you’ve done. Last summer, Daniels climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland.), and your plans after graduation. [Note. If you really have no clue what your plan is after college, no need to include this one.]

A good writer’s bio is brief, but offers a tidy summary of the person’s experience, with just a touch of personality. Use 3rd person, so NO “I” or “My.” Full name on first reference and then your LAST NAME or he or she on second reference and beyond. Here is one on Boston Magazine’s lifestyle editor. Take a look at the bios for the Politico. Here is the Wine & Spirits staff, but I’m not advocating drinking! These are all good models to use for pacing, tone and structure. Please AVOID adjectives and superlatives. Meaning, “Handsome John Jones is a great guy and exceptionally good writer.” Don’t do that. Avoid opinion. Rather, be specific and use details. Like this… In high school, Williams was a member of the varsity swim team, and holds the school’s record in the 200m freestyle.

Important: Use AP Style! Check rules for capitalization, dates, numbers, composition titles, etc.. For example:

Prior to joining Politico, Baute worked at Ogilvy Washington and Starcom Co., where she managed partnerships in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors.

  1. Politico is the name of a publication, and so it gets italicized.
  2. No need to write out company after Starcom if it’s part of the business’ proper name.
  3.  AP style allows for nonprofit to be one word, not hyphenated.

Upload file to Blackboard. There should be an assignment labelled “Bio.”